August 9, 2020

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Medals Awarded to US-Mexico Border Troops

US-Mexico Border

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Thousands of US troops who deployed to the US-Mexico border are getting a medal, reports The Armed Forces Service Medal was created by President Bill Clinton for troops whose deployment is “deemed to be a significant activity and who encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action.” Previously given to troops who operated along the border under President George W. Bush, it has also been awarded to troops who have deployed to Bosnia, Haiti, and West Africa on humanitarian or peacekeeping missions.

The US tested a new ground-based cruise missile with a range of 500 kilometers, less than three weeks after officially exiting an arms treaty that banned such systems. Defense News reports the US exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty Aug. 2, 2019, was a follow through on a late 2018 determination that the treaty no longer benefited American interests.

DefSec Mark Esper is beefing up his media relations team, reports Foreign Policy, within days of confirmation new guidance affirmed DoD’s commitment to transparency and encouraged members of the armed forces to talk to the press. “Simply put, the department benefits when we thoughtfully engage with the American public, congressional leaders, international community, and the media,” Jonathan Hoffman said.

King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa confirms Bahrain will join the US-led effort to protect shipping lanes in the Gulf region, reports The Hill.

ISIS is regaining strength in Iraq and Syria, reports The New York Times. Five months after American-backed forces ousted the Islamic State from its last shard of territory in Syria, the terrorist group is gathering new strength, conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria, retooling its financial networks and targeting new recruits at an allied-run tent camp, American and Iraqi military and intelligence officers said.

Despite record budgets, the US Navy is short hundreds of millions for maintenance, reports Defense News. A midyear review of 2019 budget spending found more than $3 billion in emergency costs, including nearly $1 billion for ship depot maintenance and unfunded ship repair. The fleet will need to find money or defer to later dates.

Military stores are soon to open to 3 million more people, but there are still no answers for some veterans who qualify to shop, but can’t qualify for the specific credential required ― the Veteran Health Identification Card, reports Military Times.

Service members are being duped into buying nonexistent vehicles, reports Military Times. There have long been disreputable car salesmen drawing  “just-out-of-boot camp military personnel like sirens on the shores of the Island of Poor Financial Decision-Making,” opines J.D. Simkins. But now a bogus “Exchange Inc.” is selling nonexistent vehicles to service members duped into believing they are dealing with the national retailer, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which finds “service members are more susceptible to fraud than average consumers.”

Military Times reports Afghanistan’s president vows to “eliminate” all safe havens of the Islamic State group on a subdued 100th Independence Day after a horrific wedding attack claimed by the local IS affiliate, reports AP. At least 63 people, including children, were killed and 182 wounded.

He was a Special Forces self-help guru. Then he took his own life, reports Army Times.

Military pharmacies worldwide may change or reduce free over-the-counter drugs offered, reports, as Tricare administrators standardize the list of what’s available.


Applied Research Associates Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico, is being awarded a maximum ceiling $240,000,000, cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a five-year base ordering period and an additional five-year option period. Competitive proposals were solicited and two offers were received. The contract provides for 24/7/365 technical reachback operational and decision support analysis, as well as research and development, to develop and advance the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA’s) weapons of mass destruction operational support capabilities. The work will be performed at multiple DTRA locations, primarily at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $150,000 (the guaranteed minimum) are being obligated at time of award. DTRA, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HDTRA1-19-D-0007). 

DynCorp International LLC, McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $32,753,836 time-and-materials contract to train, advise and assist. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Afghanistan with an estimated completion date of Aug. 19, 2020. Fiscal 2019 Afghanistan security forces, Army funds in the amount of $32,753,836 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W560MY-19-C-0002).

Manufacturing Support Industries Inc., Salisbury, Maryland, was awarded a $9,500,000 firm-fixed-price contract for M240 lightweight adjustable bipod. Bids were solicited via the internet with seven received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 20, 2024. US Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-19-D-0097).

Akima Intra‐Data LLC, Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been awarded a $152,871,144 firm-fixed-price contract for Facility Support Services II. This contract will provide for industrial and test security; security services; command, control, and communication functions; fire and emergency services; environmental; safety; occupational and environmental health; base supply; cargo movement, and vehicle maintenance at Arnold Engineering Development Complex. Work will be performed at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, with specific performance at White Oak, Maryland; and Moffett Field, California, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2027. This award is the result of a competitive small business set-aside acquisition utilizing a single solicitation and received two offers. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Test Center, Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, is the contracting activity (FA9101‐19‐C‐1000).

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